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How to Roast a Chicken

How to Roast a Chicken

Learn how to roast a chicken with these clear step by step instructions and photos. This simple roast chicken recipe will become a staple in your home.

How to Roast a Chicken

The other day I was at the grocery store (I go almost every day), and the lady at the checkout saw that I was buying a whole chicken, and asked me how to roast a chicken. Growing up my family ate roast chicken about once a week, and I make it pretty often now that I am an adult. I didn’t realize that not everyone knows how to roast a chicken. Maybe we need to bring back home ec classes?

How to Roast a Chicken

Today I am attempting to break down the process of roasting a chicken into easy to follow steps. I know it can seem daunting at first, but roast chicken is really easy to prepare and it makes a lot of food. And, unlike chicken breasts, when you roast a chicken you can make a delicious gravy! In case you are curious, you follow the same steps to roast a turkey. Turkeys are just bigger and take longer to cook.

 

This recipe for roast chicken is seasoned with lemon, shallots, thyme, and rosemary. It is a classic flavor combination with bright fresh flavors. The gravy has nice citrus notes too.

Here we go, from beginning to end, in detail, this is how to roast a chicken:

In talking to people I have realized that people are confused by what is in the bag. Sometimes there are giblets inside the chicken. They are in a bag and I just take them out and throw them away. Some people use them to make gravy. My grocery store sells chicken without giblets.

First, heat your oven to 500 degrees. I like to start the chicken at a high temperature for 30 minutes and then bring it down to 350 degrees. It speeds up the cooking process and yields a moist flavorful chicken.

Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken, and then pat it dry with paper towels. Place it on a work surface, breast side facing up.

Next, chop the lemon and shallot and stuff them inside the chicken. Use butcher’s twine or folded up aluminum foil to tie the drumsticks together so that the lemon and shallot stays inside the chicken.

Then rub the butter all over the chicken.

Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon rosemary over the top.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Then I pour 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and 1/2 cup of white wine around the chicken. This prevents any pan drippings from burning, and it serves as a perfect base for the gravy.

I like to use an in oven meat thermometer. It is one of my favorite cooking tools since I can check the temperature of the meat without opening the oven. I place the thermometers above the drumstick in the thick part of the thigh. I use two because the thermometer comes with two, and so that I can check that the chicken is cooking evenly. (If it isn’t I rotate it 180 degrees in the oven).

Then I put the chicken in the oven on the center rack. After 20 minutes I cover the chicken with foil since it has browned and I don’t want the top to get any more brown.

30 minutes after placing the chicken in the oven I turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. I periodically check the chicken to make sure that there is a layer of chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. If there isn’t I quickly pour more broth into the bottom of the pan. This broth is the base for the gravy, and it prevents the pan drippings from burning, so this is important work.

How to Roast a Chicken with step by step photos

When the chicken reaches 165 degrees, it is time to take it out of the oven. I cooked a 4 1/2 pound chicken and it was done after 1 1/2 hours. See that nice layer of chicken broth and pan drippings? That is a perfect amount to turn into gravy.

How to Roast a Chicken with photos

Upon taking the chicken out of the oven, remove it from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board. In the meantime, get to work on the gravy. First, scrape up any of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula. Then pour all of the drippings through a strainer and into a clear container. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in a tablespoon of butter. Next, use a baster to suck up all of the juices below the line of fat that will rise to the top. Whisk in the juices and bring to a simmer and let thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thick, thin it with a bit of chicken broth.

Carve the chicken and serve it with the gravy. Give yourself a pat on the back.

If you want to go all out, you can use the bones to make chicken stock.

Have you ever roasted a chicken? I am so curious! Also – did you take home ec?! I did, but I feel like few people my age have.

How to roast a chicken:

How to Roast a Chicken

Learn how to roast a chicken with these clear step by step instructions and photos. This simple roast chicken recipe will become a staple in your home.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 39 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 59 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Shallots
  • 2 tablespoon Butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • about 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • For the gravy:
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Flour
  • Pan Drippings
  • Chicken Broth if you need to thin the gravy

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Then remove the chicken from the bag. If there are giblets in the inside of the cavity of the chicken, remove those (I just throw them away).
  2. Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken, and then pat it dry with paper towels. 

  3. Next, chop the lemon and shallot and stuff them inside the chicken. 

  4. Use butcher's twine or folded up aluminum foil to tie the drumsticks together so that the lemon and shallot stays inside the chicken.

  5. Then rub the butter all over the chicken. 

  6. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary over the top.

  7. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Pour 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and 1/2 cup of white wine around the chicken.
  8. If you have an in oven thermometer, insert it in the thigh above the drumstick.
  9. Place the chicken in the oven on the center rack.
  10. After 20 minutes cover the chicken with foil, and 10 minutes after that reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  11. Let the chicken roast for another hour or so until it reaches 165 degrees, periodically check to make sure that there is a layer of liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan, add chicken broth as necessary.
  12. Take the chicken out of the oven and out of the roasting pan, and place it on a cutting board to rest.
    How to Roast a Chicken - an easy recipe for beginners that everyone should learn!
  13. To make the gravy, scrape up any of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then pour all of the drippings through a strainer and into a glass container. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in a tablespoon of flour. Next, use a baster to suck up all of the juices below the line of fat that will rise to the top. Whisk in the juices and bring to a simmer and let thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thick, thin it with a bit of chicken broth.

  14. Carve the chicken and serve it with the gravy.

Want to save these instructions on how to roast a chicken for later? Here is an image for you to pin:

How to Roast a Chicken | Roasting an chicken is easier than you might think! Learn how to roast a chicken with these easy step by step instructions!

How to Roast a Chicken - complete instructions
How to perfectly roast a chicken
What is the cooking temperature for chicken?

Chicken needs to cook until it reaches 165°F

How long does it take to roast a chicken?

It takes about 20 minutes per pound to roast a chicken.

What temperature do you roast a chicken at?

Roast at 500°F for 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350°F.

Recipe Rating




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